When I went to the ICU, I found Jakoyo (Midiwo) lying there. He was actually smiling, and I thought that I could talk to him but he was dead. I didn’t know how to conduct myself.
These were the words of ODM party leader Raila Odinga when he mourned former MP Jakoyo Midiwo at Citam Valley Road church on Thursday.
“So then I talked to the doctor. It is a very emotional thing to lose Midiwo. My mother was the eldest and we had only one uncle then Midiwo’s mother was the last born,” he said.
Noting that they have grown as a family, Raila said Midiwo was more of a friend than a brother.
“Last time I talked to him was on Thursday and we had lost a sister…Midiwo asked me not to attend the burials because my presence would attract many people and would go against MoH protocols,” he said.
So after burying late Kibwezi MP Kalembe Ndile, Raila decided to go and rest.
“When I came on Monday, and in the evening I received a phone call from her sister ..she calls me sobbing and told me that Midiwo is dead,” Raila narrated.
“I could not believe it and she told me that they went to see him at the ICU and they talked then they left. As they walked they were told to rush back that Midiwo had died.”
Raila said it is that time that he rushed to the hospital and found Midiwo smiling at the ICU.
“I will dearly miss Jakoyo Midiwo. He had a rare ability to work across the aisle and got along with members from across the political divide,” he said.
Raila said Midiwo, who is his uncle, went to the US and studied there.
“When he was there he stayed and looked after my children Fidel and Rosemary and other children as well,” he said.
“He protected them in the US so there are so many intimate things we have done with Midiwo. When he came back he was in business and then told me he wanted to join politics.”
Raila said Jakoyo was not just a politician but someone who united people from various communities.
“He was a true Kenyan..he had a clear vision as to what Kenya should be..he used to express it emotionally,” he said.
“He was not to be pushed back. It is in our blood. You can trace it back to our parents and grandparents..”
Raila added that politicians need to come together and bring Kenya first.
“Midiwo’s spirit should work to unite Kenya going forward,” he said.
Midiwo died on Monday at the age of 54.
Midiwo, who was also known to his friends as Otada (to mean a fearless person), served as MP for three terms. He was a founding member of the ODM party.
Born in 1966, Midiwo joined politics in 2002 when he vied and won the Gem parliamentary seat.
In 2017, he lost the ODM nomination to Odhiambo and went on to vie as an independent candidate. He lost the seat to Odhiambo.
During his term in Parliament, Midiwo served on various House committees including the Departmental Committee on Finance and Trade, and the Joint Committee on Parliamentary Broadcasting and Library.
Others are the House Business Committee, Departmental Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations and the Catering and Health Club Committee.
Midiwo also served as the ODM Chief Whip and later on served as the Deputy Minority leader in the 11th Parliament.